You may be familiar with the lyrics of a 1985 Whitney Huston song called The Greatest Love of All, “I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside …” I really believe in the message of this song. To make the biggest change on our world, it starts with our children. Because of this belief (and even as a grown woman), I decided to go back to school and become a school teacher.

I learned about Peace Learning Center through a program called The Journey Fellowship. As a Journey Fellow Student, I needed to work as an intern at any location of my choosing that was somehow connected to youth work. When I heard about Peace Learning Center and all that it had to offer to our communities, I applied immediately! It seemed too good to be true. A place that values children as not only part of the community but also as leaders in our community! This not only aligned with how I view the world and children, but it validated that we are in sync with something bigger.

Through my summer here I not only received amazing Professional Development trainings, the opportunity to participate in community events, connections with other amazing forward thinking youth focused organizations, but I have received much more in watching the youth of our community grow to understand their impact! The youth who have come through PLC this summer have learned that they are the change waiting to happen. They have learned that they are leaders in their community and no matter what grade or how young, they can make an impact in their environment, their neighborhoods, and within themselves.

PLC teaches through movement and games how to work as a team, show empathy for others, respect our resources, be mindful, use critical thinking to dismantle implicit bias, resolve conflict peacefully and increase personal, social, and emotional health. All of this is accomplished through the passion and heart of all the people who take part in the Peace Learning Center. From the board members to the facilitators, these have been some of the most passionate, loving, giving people I have ever met. Their passion for our future as a society being a peaceful and aware place is evident in all that they do! This has been one of the most enriching, inspiring, and fulfilling summer experiences I could have asked for. Thank you for leading the way by teaching our youth their power and impact to a more peaceful, loving, caring, and accepting future! Thank you for giving me tools I can use in my future classroom to continue this incredibly important mission!